Bellamy performing live with Muse in 2009
|Birth name||Matthew James Bellamy|
9 June 1978 |
|Genres||Alternative rock, progressive rock, electronic music, symphonic rock, progressive metal|
|Occupations||Musician, record producer, songwriter, composer, arranger, artist, multi-instrumentalist|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, keytar, mandolin, clarinet, organ|
|Labels||Warner Bros., Mushroom, East West, Helium 3, Taste|
Matthew James Bellamy (born 9 June 1978) is an English musician, composer and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist, pianist, and main songwriter of the rock band Muse. As a performer, he is often recognised for his eccentric stage persona, wide vocal range of 3.7 octaves as well as his piano and guitar playing abilities.
Early life 
Bellamy's father, George, was rhythm guitarist in the 1960s pop group The Tornados, who were the first British band to have a United States number one song, with "Telstar". "Knights of Cydonia", a single from Muse's fourth album Black Holes and Revelations, is often cited as a tribute to that song, with its space rock sound and accompanying video depicting a cowboy's quest through an alien landscape. Bellamy's mother, Marilyn, was born in Belfast, and moved to England in the 1970s. On her first day in England she met George, who was at the time working as a taxi driver in London. They later moved to Cambridge where Matthew's older brother Paul was born followed a couple of years later by Matthew. In the mid-1980s, the family moved to Teignmouth, Devon. After the divorce of Bellamy's parents, he lived with his mother and brother. Bellamy started playing the piano at the age of 6 and guitar when he was 11. His first musical performance was in June 1991, aged 12, playing piano in front of his school at Teignmouth Community College.
Muse's origins can be traced to Teignmouth, Devon at Teignmouth Community School, where Bellamy had been in a number of bands previously including Carnage Mayhem and Gothic Plague with drummer Dominic Howard. When members of Gothic Plague left because of other interests, Bellamy and Howard asked Wolstenholme to join. In 1994, using the name Rocket Baby Dolls, they won the school's "Battle of the Bands" which led them to take the band more seriously. They decided to change their name to a more "professional" one, and Muse was born. The band consisted (and still consists) of Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (percussion). Muse struggled to establish itself during its early years, but has since gone on to enjoy worldwide success. Muse blends alternative, art rock, experimental rock, progressive rock, classical music, electronica and many more. The band is also well known for its energetic and visually dazzling live performances. On 16–17 June, 2007, Muse became the first band to sell out the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Muse has released six studio albums, Showbiz (1999), Origin of Symmetry (2001), Absolution (2003), Black Holes and Revelations (2006), The Resistance (2009) and The 2nd Law (2012). Muse has also released one live album, HAARP (2008) and a compilation album. The compilation Hullabaloo (2002) consisted of two discs and was designed to accompany the Hullabaloo DVD. The first disc contains a collection of B-sides recorded between March 1999 and October 2001. The second disc features 11 live songs recorded on 28–29 October 2001 at 'le Zenith' in Paris.
Critical and public acclaim 
Bellamy was ranked #19 on Gigwise's list of The 50 Greatest Guitarists Ever. Total Guitar readers voted Bellamy #29 on a list of the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time. Bellamy's riff from "Plug In Baby" was #13 in Total Guitar's poll of the Top 100 Riffs of All Time.
In April 2005, Kerrang! magazine ranked him #28 in their "50 Sexiest People In Rock" poll. Cosmopolitan also chose him as the sexiest rocker of 2003 and 2004. NME Magazine voted him the 14th Greatest Rock 'n' roll Hero of all time, ahead of John Lennon and Bob Dylan. Bellamy also won the Sexiest Male Award at the 2007 NME Awards. He won again in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 and he was nominated in 2012. Bellamy, however, declared himself "too short to be sexy" (he is 5' 7"), and said the award should have gone to Dom Howard, Muse's drummer. In 2012 NME awards Bellamy won "Hero of the year award".
In the January 2010 edition of Total Guitar, Bellamy was named "Guitarist of the Decade" and was proclaimed to be "the Hendrix of his generation". In the Guinness Book of World Records 2010, Bellamy is credited as holding the world record for most guitars smashed on a tour. His record, 140, was set during the Absolution Tour. In April 2010, Bellamy was named the eighth best front man of all time by the readers of Q. In December 2010, readers of MusicRadar voted Bellamy the 9th Greatest Lead Singer of all time. In 2010, BBC Radio 6 conducted a survey where Matt Bellamy came third as the best guitarist of the last 30 years.
Musical Style 
Matthew Bellamy is the driving force behind Muse’s lyrical and musical composition. Popular devices he uses are singing with vibrato and in falsetto ("Supermassive Black Hole", "Knights of Cydonia", "Ruled by Secrecy", "Micro Cuts" and "Showbiz", among others), arpeggiations ("Take a Bow", "Starlight", "Butterflies & Hurricanes", "Ruled by Secrecy", "New Born" and "Bliss", among others), and large or octave jumps in melody lines ("Map of the Problematique", "Stockholm Syndrome", "Butterflies & Hurricanes" and "Citizen Erased", among others). Some songs (most notably older ones) express a more esoteric side in terms of guitar riffs and vocals ("Execution Commentary", "Agitated", "Ashamed" and "Yes Please", among others). He also seems to pronounce clearly the hard consonant sound "n" at the beginnings of some phrases when he sings. This has commonly been interpreted as the word "and".
Vocal range 
Bellamy has a tenor vocal range which spans from F♯2 to C6 (3.5 octaves). Throughout Muse's career, his singing voice has deepened and matured, with improved low-end, sustain and vibrato. The lowest full note he has reached is a G2 which he hits 30 seconds into Follow Me. In an interview with KROQ, August 2010, he displays an F♯2 while impersonating growling vocals. A note that he also hits in Execution Commentary. The highest note he has reached is B4, which has been hit on several occasions live. His highest studio note is B♭4. He hits this note at 2:08 in Feeling Good, at 5:52 in Unnatural Selection, at 1:26 in Survival, at 4:47 in Explorers, twice towards the end of Madness, three times at the end of Follow Me, several times throughout Futurism and the chorus of Big Freeze. He more commonly hits A4 in songs like City of Delusion, Cave, House of the Rising Sun, Sing for Absolution, Exo-Politics, Hyper Music and Survival.[original research?] The highest studio note Bellamy has hit is A5 at the start of Dead Star, and in Hyper Music at 2:53, both of which are backing vocals. His highest note in a lead vocal is the final scream in Showbiz, Micro Cuts, and Survival, all of which reach G♯5. Live, Bellamy occasionally hits B5 during Time Is Running Out. During Agitated at the MCM Café in 1999, about 10 seconds after the first chorus, he approaches C♯6. Whilst this is not out of the range of a male singer with adequate practice, Bellamy managed to reach these highs without the amount of practice usually required, and before he developed his breathing technique. According to Howard speaking for an interview around Route du Rock 2001, a doctor once examined Bellamy's vocal cords and commented that they are unusually small, explaining how he managed to reach the high ranges that he does with relatively little practice or training. Bellamy also stated in said interview that he used to, sometime prior to that interview, attempt to sing lower due to being embarrassed about singing using high ranges. He has since lost that inhibition.
Bellamy's lyrical writing is relatively simple, although the task of interpreting most of them correctly is nearly impossible. His subject matters include themes of world events, the end like the world, hyperspace, technology, religion, life, new world order, George Orwell's '1984' (for 'Resistance'), among others. Many of his main ideas are set in a dystopian future, in which totalitarian governments control every aspect of private and public behaviour, maintaining their power with political and forceful tactics such as widespread surveillance, state controlled media etc. Freedom is out of the question, and the idea of terrorism can be placed onto any individual regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, etc.
Musical equipment 
Bellamy uses custom guitars designed by himself and Hugh Manson made in Exeter, Devon. He has owned over 20 Manson guitars and he currently uses a number of Manson guitars. Although he also owns guitars made by other companies, he stopped using them around the Absolution era. Some of the instruments by other manufacturers include a Fender 'Aloha' Stratocaster, a Gibson Les Paul DC Lite, a Gibson SG, Jackson Randy Rhoads (custom, only used once live and then thrown into the crowd. Its current whereabouts is unknown), a Parker Fly, a Peavey EVH Wolfgang, a Jay Turser JT-res Resonator in the video for Plug in Baby and finally a Yamaha Pacifica. Bellamy's famous Manson shape has been compared to a Yamaha Pacifica, a Fender Telecaster, a Schecter and a Godin Triumph. Bellamy stated that he loved the classic guitar that Jimi Hendrix used.
Custom Hugh Manson instruments 
The first and most famous is his silver Manson (named Delorean). Bellamy came up with the basic concept for this guitar and Hugh Manson helped him realize it. It has a built-in Z.Vex Fuzz Factory which gives Bellamy his distinctive sound and the ability to manipulate the pedals oscillation sounds without bending down. In addition, it has an MXR Phase 90 phaser, a Roland midi pickup (which is now no longer used) and uses Bare Knuckle and Kent Armstrong pickups. All of his other Mansons follow this same basic design (apart from Bellamy's 7-string which was not originally built for him but for a local jazz guitarist) with some just having different pickups and finishes, as with his mirrored Manson and the rejected "Rust Relic". Bellamy's black Manson has a MIDI strip that controls a DigiTech Whammy IV, when it is connected, a Z.Vex Wah Probe and a number of other built in effects. Manson guitars have also made a guitar for Bellamy called the "Keytarcaster", it is a guitar with strings but no pickups and a two octave keyboard built into the body of the guitar. It is used live during "Undisclosed Desires".
For the 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations, he bought a new guitar, the "Black Kaoss Manson". The guitar features two Bare Knuckle Humbuckers, a Fernandes Sustainer System on the neck and an X/Y MIDI Controller pad which connects to a Korg Kaoss Pad. He also bought the M1D1 (which he later destroyed), which is similar to the Black Kaoss Manson but has a Bare Knuckle Nail Bomb humbucker in the bridge position and a Fernandes Sustainer System (FSK-101 model, which is the humbucker version of the latter one) on the neck. He is also known to use an Ibanez Destroyer on stage (Hullabaloo). Bellamy uses Diezel amp heads, along with Marshall Mode Four cabinets, Soldano Cabinets and Line 6 digital effects. In September 2009, Bellamy has mentioned the extensive use of Dickinson amplifiers on their album The Resistance. Most of Bellamy's rack effects are made with Line 6 modules. On 14 April 2009, Manson Guitars announced on their website that they had brought out a line of Matthew Bellamy signature guitars, based on the Seattle, Glitterati and Delorean models. The former two have the option of MIDI touch pads, while the DeLorean model has the option of and inbuilt Fuzz Factory and MXR Phase 90.
Political views 
Many of his songs display revolutionary views as well as a dislike of political corruption. "Assassin" and "Uprising" are two notable songs with obvious revolutionary sentiments. In an interview with Q Magazine, Bellamy stated that he is a "left-leaning libertarian". In 2006 Bellamy said that he believed the 9/11 attacks were an "inside job". However, in 2009 he told Rolling Stone that he did not believe this: "There is loads of stuff on the Internet suggesting 9/11 was an inside job. But that is not my belief."
On 17 September 2009 Bellamy discussed being politically influenced by reading "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins. He explains the book helped inspire the song "Uprising" and expressed his views that he feels lobbyists have undue influence on politicians as well as the political system. He states that "when people become powerful they often have a disregard for public opinion."
Other appearances 
Bellamy also co-wrote the end credits for the 2009 film The International. He wrote the song "Soaked", which appears on Adam Lambert's début album, For Your Entertainment. Bellamy appears as a playable character in the video game Guitar Hero 5, along with the song "Plug In Baby".
Personal life 
He began dating actress Kate Hudson in spring 2010. It was announced in January 2011 that she was pregnant with their child. On 27 April 2011 Hudson announced that she and Bellamy had become engaged the prior week. The couple's son, named Bingham Hawn "Bing" Bellamy, was born on 9 July 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
- "Revelation on stage| Music". This is London. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- "Matt Bellamy, Muse, age 12". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- "Muse play supermassive free show". NME News. NME.COM. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
- Dan Martin (2007-06-16). "Muse play Wembley Stadium mega gig". NME (NME)
- "The 50 Greatest Guitarists... Ever!". Gigwise. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- Top 20 Guitar Riffs Of All Time[dead link]
- "Kate Rocks NME Awards – Sky Showbiz". Showbiz.sky.com. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- "University honour for rock stars Muse". The Herald. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- "Muselive". Muselive. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- "Q 286 – Featuring The 100 Greatest Frontmen".
- The 30 Greatest Lead Singers of All Time Music Radar Retrieved 21 December 2010
- Muse messageboard Retrieved 2010-11-21
- Matt Bellamy MUSE Interview in Q Magazine ‘Artists Of The Century’ Edition Retrieved 2010-11-21
-  Retrieved 2010-11-21
- "CMU Daily - on the inside". College Music Update. 13 October 2006. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008.
- "MUSE Matt Bellamy Rolling Stone Interview". 15 October 2009.
- Interview with Matthew Bellamy 17.09.2009 Nimble.ie
- "MuseLive UK Exclusive: Bellamy Features in GH5". Muselive.com. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- "Bellamy Confirms Hudson Romance Rumours 3 July 2010". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Actress Kate Hudson pregnant with second child by British Rocker 12 January 2011". NationalPost.com. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
- "Kate Hudson Is Engaged". People.com. 27 Apr 2011.
- "Muse's Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudson name newborn son Bingham". NME.COM. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- "Kate Hudson, Matthew Bellamy Welcome a Son". People. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Media related to Matt Bellamy at Wikimedia Commons